Securing Our Elections
Rep. Zoe Lofgren is Chair of the Committee on House Administration, the primary Congressional committee charged with oversight of federal elections.
H.R. 1 – The For the People Act
The House voted to enact a sweeping package of transformational and comprehensive democracy reforms to put power back in the hands of the American people on March 3, 2021.
Managed by Chairp Zoe Lofgren on the House Floor, H.R. 1 would end the dominance of big money in politics, make it easier, not harder, to vote, and ensure that politicians actually serve the public interest through real government ethics and accountability reforms.
In the face of efforts to restrict voting opportunities by state legislatures around America, Lofgren underscored the need for comprehensive, structural democracy reform:
“The time is now to ensure each American has the same free, fair, secure, and equitable access to the ballot. For too long, barriers to participation made it harder for communities of color and other underrepresented groups to vote. Too many Americans view themselves as shut out of our representative system.
“Our dear colleague, the late Congressman John Lewis, would remind us that ‘the vote is precious, almost sacred.’ I’m pleased H.R. 1 takes the steps necessary to protect and improve access to that sacred vote.
“The American people deserve an end to the era of secret special interest groups funding our elections. They deserve a government that accountable and transparent. I’m pleased H.R. 1 will empower Americans and ensure Washington follows a strong set of ethics.
“H.R. 1 is a major, comprehensive step forward, a step that we must take if we are to be true to the promise of our representative government. I’m hopeful the Senate will act on it soon to restore our democracy.”
2016 Election Background
During the 2016 Presidential election, Russia launched a massive cyber-attack against the U.S. to undermine faith in American democracy.
The U.S. intelligence community concluded that the Russians interfered in our 2016 elections and has warned repeatedly that they plan to do so again. Special Counsel Robert Mueller made clear that our country suffered ‘multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election’ in 2016.
The Mueller report details that Russian military officers: ‘targeted individuals and entities involved in the administration of elections. Victims included U.S. state and local entities, such as state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and county governments, as well as individuals who worked for those entities.’
While former President Trump refused to hold Russia accountable, Chair Lofgren has led the House in passing critical legislation to protect the security and integrity of our nation’s elections.
SAFE & SHIELD
In the 116th Congress, House Democrats built on the progress of H.R. 1 by passing the Securing America’s Federal Elections, or, the SAFE Act, a bill Chair Lofgren authored to take decisive action to secure our federal elections from outside interference and brings our election security into the 21st Century.
The SAFE Act makes meaningful investments to upgrade the security of voting systems across the country by:
- replacing outdated, vulnerable voting machines;
- requiring paper ballot voting systems;
- enacting strong cybersecurity requirements for election technology vendors and voting systems;
- implementing risk-limiting audits, a critical tool to ensuring the integrity of elections.
In the 116th Congress, the House also passed Chair Lofgren's bill, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy, or, the SHIELD Act, to protect our elections from foreign interference and disinformation campaigns.
The SHIELD Act protects our elections from foreign interference and dishonest behavior by:
- Creating a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents.
- Improving transparency of online political advertisements.
- Closing loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections.
- Restricting the exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents.
- Prohibiting deceptive practices about voting procedures.
The U.S. Postal Service
In 2020, Former President Donald Trump and the Postmaster General made operational changes that degraded services, delayed the mail, and threatened to disenfranchise voters.
Click here for more information about how Zoe has been working to protect our Postal Service.